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Community: Socially and Theologically

New Testament churches were a community. It was more than just seeing people once or twice a week across the aisle at a church service. Rather than being a collection of families, the entire church was one big close-knit family. They knew each other well. They cared for each other.

But they didn't just have community. They had shared theology. In fact, their very sense of community came from their shared theology.

The Apostle Paul remarked about this in his first epistle to the Corinthians.

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
1 Corinthians 1:10

Speaking the same thing. The same mind. The same judgment. No divisions. Christians in the early church were of the same mind when it came to doctrinal questions and the same judgment when it came to moral questions. Building community for community sake is not what the New Testament describes. What they had was not just community in a social sense, but community in the sense of doctrinal consensus.

In John's gospel, Jesus taught about this kind of unity. In fact, Jesus' defined the church community in terms of a family that kept the teachings of our Father.

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me...If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full...Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
John 14:23-24; 15:10-11; 17:20-21

Similarly, in Luke 8, Jesus defined "family" as a group of people who follow the teaching of the Father.

There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
Mark 3:31-35 (Luke 8:19-21)

Our goal is to be a part of building that community. If this is your goal also, we hope that you will take a little time to look around our website, drop us an email, and get to know us a little.

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